The landing was smooth and we caught a taxi to our hotel in Athens. The cost was 45 euro because the airport is a long way from town. Our friends from Maine took the bus and it was much cheaper, but we had too much luggage to do that. Our long 25 hours of travel was rewarded as we stepped out on our southward-facing balcony at the St.George Lycabettus Hotel high above the city.
|View from our hotel balcony|
|I had to enjoy a cafe latte on my balcony|
|Ron soaking in the view|
|Looking down 7 floors to the street below|
|View from our balcony at night|
As night fell, we took a cab to Monastiraki Square for kebabs, souvlaki, greek salad and beer at Taverna Thanasis. Delicious!
|Dinner at Taverna Thanasis|
|Delicious Souvlaki Kebobs|
I explored the market and shops, picking up a kilo of delicious grapes for 99 cents, a few unripe pears and souvenirs before the stores closed promptly at 9PM. This square is a lively place with it's many open air cafes especially famous for souvlaki, a Metro station and central marketplace.
The next day, we went to the Acropolis - the "high city" where early people lived until a temple to the Goddess Athena was built between 421 and 406 BC. Thenceforth, numerous temples and altars were built by the Greeks to worship Athena.
|The Erechtheion was the first temple built in honor of the goddess Athena|
|The Porch of the Caryatids|
|The Temple of Athena Nike at the Main Entrance|
|The arrow points to our hotel in this view from the Acropolis.|
|Pieces of Ionic columns|
|Here I am at the main entrance.|
|Two elevators allow people with walking difficulties to access the ruins on the Acropolis|
After our visit, we rested with ice cream and beverages at the Dionysos Zonar's Restaurant across the street. Then I walked to the new National Archaeological Museum at the foot of the Acropolis.
|As you walk to the entrance of the museum, the floor has numerous "windows" to peer into the |
excavation of ancient Greek homes
Musicians of all kinds play for donations. I dropped more than a few Euros in their hats and instrument cases for their wonderful music. I purchased some gifts of olive oil soap, a Greek coin collection, T-shirts, and a Greek calendar with recipes.
|A nice calendar with Greek recipes|
|Greek coins and olive oil soap|
|My appetizer was not only delicious, but artistically presented|
|The views were inspiring|
|A view of Athens from the Chapel of St. George Viewpoint|
|The Changing of the Guard at the Hellenic Parliament Tomb of the Unknown Soldier|
|The Temple of the Olympian Zeus|
Finally we got to the Port of Piraeus and to our ship, the MS Ryndam. We embarked at 4:30PM on Saturday, October 19th. We met up with our friends, Sharon and Bob, from Maine. It was the first time we had seen each other in Athens so we swapped travel stories and settled into our staterooms.
|Our itinerary (before change). We did not go to La Goulette, but went to Olbia, Sardinia, Italy instead.|
|Farewell, Athens. Next stop: Katakalon, Greece.|
Go to my next post for our second port of call, Katakalon, Greece.